Dave Hole

Dave Hole
Rough Diamond

Blind Pig Records - BPCD 5114

By Georgetown Fats
January 2008

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One of my favorite scenes in a movie is from the first Back to The Future.

The scene places Marty McFly alone in Doc Brownís workshop, ready to rock out before school on a guitar and 6x6 speaker designed by Doc Brown. Marty doesnít realize the good Doctor was having technical issues with the guitar rig and speaker, so after the first strummed chord, his body is hurled across the workshop.

I may not have Michael J Foxís money; I may not know an eccentric inventor named Doc Brown, but from the first note of “Rough Diamond Child” off of Dave Holeís new Rough Diamond CD, I was able to have a similar musical experience.

After dropping seven house-rocking offerings on the Alligator label, Hole takes his signature over-hand bridge slide guitar playing to the Blind Pig label. Alligatorís loss is Blind Pigís gain. The English born, Aussie raised Hole offers up 11 tracks of funky Texas blues.

Hole is supported by Roy Daniel on bass, Bob Patient on keyboard, and Ric Eastman on drums. Some tunes on the disk are clearly crafted to be radio-friendly, but all of the tunes have the signature bright yet crunchy sound delivered with a metal slide and an overdriven tube amp.

Hole and Blind Pig are receiving awards and accolades at a fast and furious pace, all of them justified.

“Rough Diamond Child,” an original track, is a rocking tune in which Hole recalls Mamma Hole reminding him of the importance of remaining true to his roots regardless of where his future takes him. The funky bass line by Daniel provides a solid foundation for Holeís incendiary lead work. Another original track, “Canít Stop Loviní You” shows Holeís affectation for the Texas blues feel.

“Vintage Wine,” which is listed as copyright-controlled in the liner notes, is a few ticks slower on the metronome. Once again the formula calls for Holeís band to lay a tight and spectacular foundation for scorching lead work. Though Holeís vocal tone is similar to someone who may be partially hard of hearing, he makes it work.

On another original track, “Yours For a Song,” Hole offers up his take on a torch song. Patientís organ is more noticeable in the mix, and it allows for Hole to slow the lead work down to a more soulful feel. Even at the slower tempo, the sparsely arranged tune still chugs along.

“White Trash Girl” picks the tempo back up with another foot stomping Texas blues treatment of a cover song. “Since I met you Baby,” written by Ivory Joe Hunter, is another cover tune probably added to the disk for mainstream radio crossover appeal.

On the last original, “Iíll Get to you,” once again Bob Patientís keyboard work is given some more prevalence for the overall benefit of the tune. It is another mid-tempo blues rocker which sounds better at increased volumes.

The only disappointing track on this disk has got to be the addition of Slim Harpoís “King Bee.” Patient hammers out a great boogie feel on the keys, the rhythm section provides a fantastic backbone; but, unfortunately, Holeís voice is not up to the challenge for this cover.

With 10 of the 11 tracks bordering on spectacular, this personal introduction to Dave Holeís material will make this reviewer investigate Holeís back catalog. (Also, as my 30-gigabyte iPod reaches capacity, these files will be spared.)

Rough Diamond is a worthy addition to any blues enthusiastís library.



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